The forewings of this species are reddish brown with a black streak interrupted by white stigmata and a creamy-yellow streak along the costa which gives the species its common name. The hindwings are pure white.
Technical description and variation
The wingspan is 28–34 mm. Forewing red-brown suffused with purple; costal streak broadly cream-colour to outer line, sometimes red speckled; cell and a basal streak below median vein blackish or deep red;orbicular and reniform stigmata with bright pale rings and grey centres, the latter followed by a small black blotch; lines rarely visible; hindwing whitish; patagia red-brown; dorsum greyish fuscous, sometimes with basal half cream-coloured, sometimes wholly cream-coloured.ab. unimacula Stgr. [now ssp.] from Spain has the orbicular stigma obsolete; — in ab. anderssoni Lampa from Scandinavia the forewing is blackish purple; in ab. glaucimacula Graes. from Amurland the stigmata are smaller, as in leucogaster Frr.[now full species] and pearl grey in colour; the outer line of forewing well-marked and indicated on hindwing also by vein-dots; patagia black-brown; — ab. ignota uncertainly ranked by Swinh., described in the first instance from Sri Lanka, has the cell red like the rest of wing; European examples of this form are generally entirety pale red, with the costal streak red-speckled and usually females..
Caterpillar brownish. Ventral area yellowish. There are fine dark line found on dorsal area. Stigmata black in color.
Recorded food plants
- Arachis - peanut
- Beta - beet
- Galium - bedstraw
- Plantago - plantain
- Salix - willow
- Senecio - groundsel
- Trifolium - clover
See Robinson, G. S et al.
- O. p. plecta - Europe except Iberian Peninsula
- O. p. unimacula - Iberian Peninsula
- Seitz, A. Ed., 1914 Die Großschmetterlinge der Erde, Verlag Alfred Kernen, Stuttgart Band 3: Abt. 1, Die Großschmetterlinge des palaearktischen Faunengebietes, Die palaearktischen eulenartigen Nachtfalter, 1914
- The flight season refers to the British Isles. This may vary in other parts of the range.
- Hampson G. F. (1892). "The Fauna of British India Including Ceylon and Burma Moths Vol-ii". Digital Library of India. p. 558. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
- "Robinson, G. S., P. R. Ackery, I. J. Kitching, G. W. Beccaloni & L. M. Hernández, 2010. HOSTS - A Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants. Natural History Museum, London.".
- Chinery, Michael Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 (Reprinted 1991)
- Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles 1984